Mon, Jun 24, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Mount Fuji joins list of UNESCO World Heritage sites

AFP, TOKYO

The hope is that, like the delicately preserved monuments of Kyoto, or the imposing castle at Himeji, greater attention from the world will mean more is done to protect the site.

However, it is possible that all these efforts could literally be turned to dust in an instant — if the volcano erupts.

In September last year, scientists said that pressure inside the magma chamber was far greater than it was at the time of its last eruption, in 1707, and well above the level at which an eruption is possible.

An eruption could be utterly devastating, with government estimates of damage at tens of billions of dollars and some models showing lava flows engulfing artery highways and key train routes, while ash clouds choke Tokyo.

“Fuji is beautiful, but dangerous,” Kawakatsu said. “We must always be prepared.”

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